Pores are natural openings on our skin responsible for producing oil and sweat. However, depending on your skin type, these pores can become more noticeable, especially when clogged, leading to the appearance of blackheads. This is a common concern for those with oily and acne-prone skin.
If you find yourself nodding in agreement, you’re in the right place. I’ve curated a list of the best products from The Ordinary, you can use to minimize large pores and combat blackheads, ensuring your skin feels refreshed and looks its best.
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Table of Contents
- Skin care products that work best for enlarged pores
- Skin care products that work best for blackheads
- The Best The Ordinary Products for Enlarged Pores & Blackheads
- The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
- The Ordinary Peeling Solution AHA 30% + BHA 2%
- The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
- The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid Solution
- The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution 7%
- The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
- The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
- The Ordinary Retinols and Retinoids
- How to use The Ordinary products for large pores and blackheads
Skin care products that work best for enlarged pores
First things first: pores don’t open or close. But they can look bigger when they’re clogged with dirt, oil, or bacteria. So, what can you do? Here’s a simple guide to the products that can help:
- Lightweight Oils: Keep your skin moisturized without the clog. Try oils like rosehip.
- Exfoliate: Get rid of dirt and dead skin. Go natural with enzyme peels like papaya and pineapple or try acids like lactic, mandelic, or glycolic.
- Antioxidants: Protect your skin from stuff that makes it produce too much oil. Look for ingredients like vitamin C, green tea extract, or niacinamide.
- Hydration: Keep your skin quenched. Pick products with aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, or vitamin B3.
- Boost and Renew: Unclog those pores and give your skin a lift. Vitamin A is your friend here. It helps with unclogging, tightening, and renewing your skin.
Skin care products that work best for blackheads
Blackheads are a type of acne also known as comedonal acne. This occurs when excess hair follicles present in the pores get clogged, and excess sebum or dirt accumulates around it causing a bump or pimple.
When the skin over this pimple breaks open and gets exposed to air, the gunk within the pores oxides and turns black. This is why they are called blackheads.
To get rid of this type of acne here are the type of products to look out for:
- Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids: Just like with enlarged pores, you need to use exfoliating products that will help unclog your pores and get rid of the blackheads. Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids will be ideal for this.
- Pick the Right Moisturizers: Use non-comedogenic facial oils and moisturizers to prevent your pores from getting clogged. Avoid thick and heavy creams and stick to light lotions or gels that contain texture-enhancing ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, or retinoids.
The Best The Ordinary Products for Enlarged Pores & Blackheads
If you’re struggling with enlarged pores and blackheads, consider these top recommendations from The Ordinary:
At a glance:
- Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: A serum that regulates sebum production and improves the skin barrier. Learn more >
- Peeling Solution AHA 30% + BHA 2%: An exfoliating serum that targets both the skin’s surface and deep within the pores. Learn more >
- Salicylic Acid 2% Masque: A mask that deeply cleanses and reduces sebum production. Learn more >
- 2% Salicylic acid Solution: A gentle serum that unclogs pores. Learn more >
- Glycolic acid Toning Solution 7%: A toner that exfoliates and brightens the skin. Learn more >
- Mandelic Acid 10% + HA: A serum that exfoliates and boosts skin elasticity. Learn more >
- 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil: A lightweight oil that nourishes and tightens the skin. Learn more >
- Retinols and Retinoids: Vitamin A derivatives that speed up skin renewal and tighten pores. Learn more >
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
This serum is a standout from The Ordinary, perfect for those battling enlarged pores, acne, or blackheads. Here’s what you need to know:
What It Does: The power duo, niacinamide and zinc, work together to regulate sebum production, helping to prevent and clear out any pore congestion. Plus, niacinamide is great for strengthening your skin’s barrier and locking in moisture, leading to a healthier and smoother complexion.
How to Use: Apply a few drops to your face in the morning and evening before your moisturizer. Less is more, so no need to go overboard!
Things to Note: Always a good idea to do a patch test first. Some people might experience a bit of redness or a slight sensation, especially when starting out.
The Ordinary Peeling Solution AHA 30% + BHA 2%
If you’re on the hunt for a serum that does double duty, this one’s for you. It’s a favorite for a reason: it tackles both enlarged pores and blackheads head-on. And don’t be surprised by its deep red hue which looks like blood – it is just the unique color of the solution!
What It Does: The AHAs in this serum work on the skin’s surface, giving you a brighter look, while the BHAs dive deep to clear out any congestion. The result? Instantly improved skin that, over time, looks even better. Think of it as a mini facial in a bottle that also packs anti-aging benefits.
How to Use: Start slow – once every two weeks for just five minutes. You might feel a bit of a tingle, that’s the serum doing its thing. As you get used to it, you can use it up to 3 times a week for a max of ten minutes, preferably in the evening. Always apply to dry skin and rinse off with lukewarm water. Remember, a little goes a long way. And don’t forget to slap on some sunscreen the next morning – your skin will thank you!
Things to Note: This serum is powerful. If you’re new to acids in skincare, tread lightly. It’s not the best fit for sensitive skin or if you’re using retinol. And always, always wear sunscreen the next day. Sun and this serum? Not the best mix.
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
If you’re tired of skin that looks dull thanks to pesky large pores and blackheads, this masque is about to become your new best friend. It’s packed with Salicylic Acid, a real game-changer for blemish-prone skin.
What It Does: Salicylic Acid works wonders by deeply penetrating the pores, clearing out impurities and dead skin cells. The result? Fewer blemishes, less excess oil, and skin that feels fresh and tight. Plus, if you’re already a fan of The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid 2% serum, pairing it with this masque takes your skincare game to the next level.
How to Use: Once a week, apply this on dry skin and relax for 10 minutes. Then, rinse off with lukewarm water. It’s like a spa day, but in the comfort of your home.
Things to Note: If your skin leans on the dry or sensitive side, you might want to skip this one. It’s potent, so always best to listen to your skin.
The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid Solution
If you like the deep-cleaning power of The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid Masque but want something a bit gentler for regular use, this serum is your go-to. It’s all about giving your skin that fresh feel without going full-on masque mode.
What It Does: It unclogs pores, reduces excess oil, and helps prevent blemishes. It’s a milder alternative to The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid Masque, perfect for regular use. And for those with sensitive skin? There’s an anhydrous (oil-based) version just for you.
How to Use: In the evening, dab a bit on problem spots or go all out and apply it all over. Just a few times a week will do the trick.
Things to Note: If your skin’s a bit on the sensitive side or you’ve got some peeling going on, maybe sit this one out. And always pair with SPF – this serum can make your skin sun-sensitive.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution 7%
If blackhead breakouts have been troubling you, this toner is set to be a game-changer in your skincare routine. It’s designed for gentle exfoliation, revealing skin that’s not just cleaner, but also more radiant.
What It Does: Glycolic acid is the star here, sweeping away dead skin cells and revealing a rejuvenated complexion. Got acne scars? With consistent use, they’ll start to become less noticeable. And if you’re curious about its effectiveness, this study found that glycolic acid can reduce pore size and improve comedonal acne. The toner’s pale peachy shade? That’s the work of Tasmanian Pepperberry, which also counters potential irritation. Plus, there’s ginseng root and aloe vera, adding a touch of glow and calmness.
How to Use: After cleansing, saturate a cotton pad and glide it over your face and neck. The evening is the best time for this, and once daily does the trick.
Things to Note: This toner packs a punch, so be aware that your skin might become a bit more sun-sensitive. It’s wise to avoid direct sunlight and always apply some SPF. Especially during the initial week, it’s best to limit sun exposure.
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
Looking for a gentler exfoliation? This serum might be just what you need.
What It Does: Mandelic Acid, known for its larger molecular size, offers a softer exfoliation, perfect for those wary of harsh treatments. It not only helps exfoliate the skin but also tackles comedonal acne and boosts skin elasticity. The result? Tighter pores and a clearer complexion. And let’s not forget the hyaluronic acid, which adds hydration and firmness.
How to Use: In the evening, after cleansing, smooth it over your face and neck. Just once a day is enough.
Things to Note: Using AHAs can up your skin’s sun sensitivity. So, always team up with SPF and cut down on direct sun time while using this and for a week after.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
If you’re wary of oils because of enlarged pores and blackheads, this one might change your mind. It’s all about giving your skin the hydration it craves without the pore-clogging drama.
What It Does: Rosehip oil is very light, non-comedogenic, and a real treat for the skin. Packed with pro-vitamin A, vitamin E, and antioxidants, it rejuvenates skin cells and boosts collagen. So, not only does it nourish, but it also helps keep those pores tight and blackheads at bay. The result? Skin that’s moisturized, brighter, and smoother.
How to Use: A few drops in the morning and evening post-cleansing should do the trick. Massage it gently into your skin and let it work its magic.
Things to Note: Rosehip oil is gentle, but as with any product, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test first, especially if you have sensitive skin.
The Ordinary Retinols and Retinoids
Retinoid and retinol are derivative forms of vitamin A which have the ability to speed up the skin renewal process and boost collagen production. By causing skin cells to shed faster retinol helps slough off dead skin cells clogging pores, revealing brighter, smoother, and tighter skin.
Although retinol and retinoids are touted for their anti-aging benefits, they are multipurpose actives that target a wide range of skincare issues.
However, one thing should be noted about retinol, and it is that it can have very potent side effects. This is why The Ordinary has come up with multiple retinol-based products having in mind the sensitivities of various skin types. As such here is a list of their retinols and retinoids products and how to find the right fit for you:
For beginners and sensitive skin types
- 0.2% Retinol in Squalane (Low Strength, Moderate Irritation)
For intermediate users
- 0.5% Retinol in Squalane (Moderate Strength, High Irritation)
- 2% Emulsion Granactive Retinoid (Moderate Strength, No Irritation)
- 2% in Squalane Granactive Retinoid (Moderate Strength, No Irritation)
For advanced users
- 5% in Squalane Granactive Retinoid (High Strength, No to Low Irritation)
- 1% Retinol in Squalane (High Strength, Very High Irritation)
How to use The Ordinary products for large pores and blackheads
There are different ways you can use The Ordinary products to shrink large pores and get rid of blackheads.
1. Night Routine:
- Cleanse: Start with a clean slate.
- Exfoliate with Glycolic Acid: Use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution 7%. It helps get rid of dead skin cells that can lead to blackheads and makes those large pores look smaller. Remember, just once at night.
2. Morning Routine:
- Cleanse: Freshen up for the day.
- Exfoliate with Salicylic Acid: Try the 2% salicylic acid serum. It’s great for unclogging pores. But, heads up! Don’t mix it with retinoids or glycolic acid. It’s a bit too much for your skin.
3. For Sensitive Skin:
- Gentle Exfoliation: If your skin’s a bit touchy, go for The Ordinary’s Mandelic Acid 10% in the evening. Just once a day, and avoid mixing with retinoids.
- After exfoliating, your skin needs some love. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is your go-to. It’s light and won’t block your pores.
5. Advanced Option – Retinol:
- If you’re feeling adventurous and know your skincare, retinol can be a game-changer. Start slow with The Ordinary’s 0.2% Retinol in Squalane. Use it once a week to begin with, and as your skin gets used to it, you can up the frequency. But, and this is important, don’t mix it with acids. And yes, sunscreen is a must when you’re on retinol.
Golden Rule: It’s either acid exfoliants or retinol after cleansing. Never both. And always, always wear SPF during the day when using these products.
Petra Nakashian (previously Kravos) is a dedicated natural health and beauty blogger, driven by the loss of her parents to cancer, which led her to meticulously research beauty product ingredients. With over 10 years of experience, her in-depth knowledge has made her a trusted expert in the field. Founder of Be Healthy Now and Green Beauty Talk, Petra recently expanded her expertise with Beauty Insights Hub, exploring a wider range of beauty treatments. Committed to transparency and honesty, her work is a vital resource for navigating the complex world of beauty.